In which Frank and Gerard meet in a coffee shop...and, well, you know the rest.
From somewhere deep in his coat pocket, a shrilling melody sounds, and Gerard purses his chapped lips and then slides out his cellphone, sighing a bit.
"Hello?" he says cautiously into the cell. Gerard was still wary around technology, after setting his mom's laptop on fire when he was 18.
"Hey. It's me," Mikey's calm voice is tired and worn out. "Did he show up yet?" Gerard could faintly hear the dim hum of the television in the background.
"Um, no," Gerard tells him hesitantly, looking around the coffee shop, one hand running through his dark locks. Other than him and Stacy, a couple of suspicious looking teenage boys at the back, a Chinese man sitting near the door and an old couple in the corner, the place is deserted. Completely. No sign of him. Unfortunately. "But I guess he's coming. He has to, remember?"
"Oh, okay. I'm just checking," Mikey says before clicking the phone off abruptly. Gerard stares at the phone in his hand for a minute before stuffing it back deeply in his pocket, a heavy scowl on his face.
The bells above the door tinkle as someone enters, sending in a gust of cold air along with him, chills running down Gerard's back from the bitter cold.
This has to be Frank, Gerard thinks desperately, his hands dropping the pencil. He was kind of sick of waiting.
The guy looks around the shop, studying the Chinese man for a minute, before his eyes find Gerard and his face lights up and he bounds over to Gerard's table, carefully tucked in the back corner of the shop.
"Hey, you must be Mikey, right?" the guy asks Gerard breathlessly, sitting down in the seat in front of him. Gerard notes a a tangled mass of thick, black hair that was sticking out from under his hat and hazel eyes. He also spots a tattoo of a scorpion on his neck, and he has the overwhelming and confusing urge to draw it, trace it with his finger, to, weirdly, bite it and suck....
He also notes that he's staring at the poor guy.
He looks back down at the sketch and takes a sip of coffee, his cheeks turning red. He shakes his head slightly, so that his hair falls and shields his face.
The guy clears his throat and Gerard gives a short little bob of his head, his eyes still on the sketch.
"So um. I'm Frank," Frank mutters. He takes off his black ski cap and sets it gently on the table in front of him.
They sit in silence for a few minutes, before Gerard looks up and meets Frank's eyes. "I'm actually not Mikey. I'm his older brother, Gerard. He couldn't make it and he asked me to come and get the thing from you. Instead of him," he clarifies. Gerard briefly wonders if he should thrust his hand out and shake Frank's, just like they do in business movies.
Frank looks taken aback. "Oh," he says, fingers fiddling with the edges of his hat. "Well, hi Gerard. I have the....the thing. But first things first, did, um, did Mikey tell you anything at all about....cash?" Frank sounds a tiny bit hopeful at the end. Why exactly, Gerard has no idea.
"Yeah, he did," he replies casually, a hand already sliding into his coat pocket. He removes the wad of crisp, twenty dollar bills Mikey had given him, held together by a thick rubber band, pinches it between his thumb and forefinger, and passes it to him.
"Thanks," Frank replies, stuffing the money into his pocket. In exchange, he draws a large manila envelope from his pocket and hands it over to Gerard. Mikey Way was written in big, black, block letters in the middle of the envelope, and underneath that, in spiky writing, was the words, Only For Mikey Way to Open and View. No exceptions. Gerard admires Frank's writing before tucking it next to the sketch on the table.
He gives Gerard a toothy grin and rubs the scorpion tattoo on his neck, letting out a huge breath.
Gerard licks his lips and stares. He imagines running his hand along the tattoo, which is weird, since Gerard doesn't even know Frank, has only known him for almost 5 minutes.
Frank gestures to the sketch. "What's that?" he asks him. He taps a finger against the table and Gerard snaps his attention to the notebook, away from the riveting tattoo on Frank's neck.
"Oh..that. It's just something I drew to pass the time, waiting for you to show up," Gerard says quickly, snapping the notebook shut. Something about other people viewing his art makes him anxious. Uncomfortable.
Frank smiles at him again, and notices Gerard's eyes on his scorpion tattoo. "You can draw it if you want," he laughs, reaching across the table to hand Gerard the pencil that he had dropped.
Gerard is surprised about how Frank is treating him like they are life long friends or something.
"No, it's okay," he replies, blushing. Although Gerard really does want to draw Frank's tattoo, more than anything, in fact, which seems a little bit crazy to him, he feels oddly intrusive.
"No, go on." Frank smiles at him and leans closer, flicking his hair back. "I want to see."
Gerard sighs, knowing that he has to. He finds, as the night progresses on and on, he can't help but feel a little bit attracted to Frank. And that smile...
Gerard finds himself leaning forward, so he's almost nose-to-nose with Frank. It would just be so easy to lean forward and connect their lips. Frank didn't even seem to mind it, smiling serenely at him, his eyes kind of urging to go on...
Gerard pulls back with a sharp breath.
"So, um, how about that drawing, huh?" Gerard sputters nervously, grabbing the notebook and flipping to a completely random page. He starts drawing scribbles and lines that look somewhat like a scorpion, without actually glancing at Frank's neck.
He hears the Chinese man and the teenagers get up and leave, and the old couple had left long before, so pretty much him and Frank were the only ones in the shop, with the exception of Stacy, who had disappeared into the back room.
Frank sighs and sits back in his chair.
Gerard's cellphone trills again, making both of them jump jump.
"Oh! I have to go take this," he quickly says, pushing back his chair and practically sprinting out the door.
"Hello?" he says breathlessly into the phone, leaning against the alley next to the shop.
"Hey, it's me," Mikey replies. Gerard sighs in relief. "Did Frank come? Did you meet him? Did he give you the thing yet?" It's absolute silence on Mikey's end, no television, which means that the whole house is asleep.
"Yeah. Yes. Yeah, he did." Gerard rubs his temples and lets out a huge breath.
"What? Did you look in the envelope?" Mikey's voice is panicked and slightly angry.
Gerard sighs again.
"No, I didn't. Calm down. There were specific instructions from Frank on the envelope for only you to open it, and strictly you." Gerard wonders what is in the envelope exactly that makes Mikey so jumpy and harassed, but decides it's better to leave it alone. He'd rather not know anyways.
"Good. Come home," Mikey says dully, and then clicks off the phone. Again. Gerard rolls his eyes and scowls, leaning back against the wall, tucking the phone in his pocket.
The cold air feels good on his face, calming him down and soothing his nerves. His brain is a jumbled mess of thoughts, confusion about Frank, and confusion about his lust for him.
I just met him! Gerard says to himself. This is crazy! He might not even like me anyways. He probably has a girlfriend...
Gerard shakes his head, closing his eyes.
Heavy footsteps announce someone's arrival, coming towards where Gerard is perched. Gerard knows with every fiber of his being that it's Frank.
The footsteps stop in front of Gerard. He doesn't open his eyes. The person leans in.
"Hey," Frank's voice whispers, his breath hot on Gerard's cheeks. Gerard shivers, but not from the cold. His brain is muggy and he finds it hard to even process a thought. He decides not to think.
Gerard's eyelashes flutter, and he finds himself replying simply with a plain, "Hi."
They stare at each other.
And then their lips touch.